Dozens of inspectors general across the federal government have signed a letter repudiating the Justice Department's legal opinion that the original complaint by a CIA whistleblower about President Donald Trump's conversation with Ukraine's president did not have to be turned over to Congress, NBC News reports.
The opinion by the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel overruled a determination by the intelligence community's own watchdog that the whistleblower's then-secret complaint, which has since sparked an impeachment inquiry, appeared credible and, therefore, should be brought to the congressional intelligence committees.
In a strongly-worded statement written by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the inspectors general portrayed the OLC opinion as dangerously wrong and severely damaging to whistleblower protections.
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"The OLC opinion, if not withdrawn or modified, could seriously undermine the critical role whistleblowers play in coming forward to report waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct across the federal government," the independent watchdogs said.